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Readers Respond: Experiences in 2W1X1 - AIRCRAFT ARMAMENT SYSTEMS

Responses: 46


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Experiences in 2W1X1 - AIRCRAFT ARMAMENT

72-76, 80-2004. Weapons Release (Today Armament), Weapons Loading. Was a "problem child" first time around, lol, wised up the second time around and made a career of it. Enjoyed the challenges working in Release and Armament and did my share of Loading. Worked three different airframes over my career F-4, A-10 and F-15. Retired as Armament NCOIC in 04 and I have to admit that I miss it. After talking with Weapons Troops today...have to say it was probably a good time for me to hang it up when I did. To many negative changes to mention, all contributing to low morale and a "dog eat dog" mentality. To Bad! Weapons troops in my days were hard charging, party hardy troops. Political correctness put a damper on things in the 90s but I usually obtained CC approval to hold our "Recognition/Family Gatherings," lol. Don't envy you guys today with all the cutbacks but in the end I know you guys will keep up the tradition. IYAWYAS!
—Guest WPNSMECH462

Pros and Cons

You will travel, have cookouts, events, and your shop will become a family. Supervisors usually have your back and if you're on the Flightline, you'll always have someone to talk to. However, This just can be awesome depending on your home base. Really good people to meet and be around (most of the time), but you will work 12 hr shifts sometimes and weekend duty sometimes (depending on the pace/tempo of your base). Also You'll be in all the elements. This is not bad; however, the bad part is unorganized and frantic minded people when inspections come into play. And Ops changing what AME to be loaded like its the same as changing Underwear. I dont love the job, and I dont hate the job. It just needs some respect from Ops and Officers. Also We should get paid more than the Airman sitting in Public health. -- Modern day Senior Airman
—Guest Vicissitudes of Fate

As soon as you can.

I worked as a weapons loader for almost 25 years. I dont regret any of it. I wouldnt trade any thing for the experience I gained. I retired in 1996.
—Guest SMS Randy Herring

Don't listen to this old school cars

This Air Force ain't what it used to be. Proudly served for 12 years 01-13 and I'm out! Been promoted early and often. Worked hard and did well. If you want to get treated like a red headed step child by all the other shops on the Flightline then sign up for this job. If not, do something else.
—Guest Run while you can

Big Mamma's Truckers

I enjoyed being a weapons load crew chief for 15 years. Spent 2 years a Ubon Thailand RTAFB. I can remember working 12 hour shifts and when some of them were just about to end we were asked to stay and load up some weapons to support search and rescue missions for downed pilots. I loved it and took great pride in doing a good job. I believe we were highly appreciated. Early Christmas morning, 1971, myself my twin brother and our friend Bob DelVechio were drunk and woke up the Base Commander to sing him Christmas carrols. I'm afraid that everyone knew who we were after that. Those were the days.
—Guest Russell Teel


I was in Weapons from 1977 - 1979 and I loved it, I had my knee operated on while at Cannon AFB NM and after I received a assignment to Torrejon AB Spain loading bombs on F-4"s, I had to cross -train back into my old career field which I hated. I had a great time and experience working on the F111D and F4"s. I loved the Air Force and It is totally different now.
—Guest Paul Rhoton


I was a 462 from 78 -95. F-15, A-10. Traveled the world workin with special folks. Proud owner of fingers that totally go numb in cold weather and hate the thought of steel toed boots in the snow. Don't keep in touch with many old friends but man we had a ball.
—Guest Tom H


Great job, no respect from officers, wanting willie P unloaded in the rain, But we played hard, from the RF-4's to the F-16's, don't know how a push-pull marker miss fired a 2.75 marker into a KFC sign off base twice, but it was a blast! Happened while doing EOR. Too slow on rank for some, unless you went under the table for the senior nco's, saw too many tools thrown into the trash when we went from F-4's to F-16's, same f"ing tools, $300.00 hammers, you could get at WalMart, $400.00 ratchets, great waste of American money. Then I get court martial for POT. For telling another airman where to go get it.
—Guest Guest Shaw


i was wondering if load toads was the nickname given for 462xx on the A-7D aircraft.....worked at england air force base from 76-78....great TDY's and a good job then....still working with the military after all these years
—Guest loadtoad4ever


Spent 24 years as a Weapons troop, sure there are better jobs but I wouldn't have changed it (my job) for anything. Met lots of good people and a few bad> I got everything I needed out of this job, by working hard and taking pride it what I did. For the most part we were a tight knit group we worked hard together and played equally as hard off duty. I am currently working as a Correctional Officer in the State of Alaska and proudly utilize my call sign and identifying number "462" when conversing over the radio at my current place of employment (prison). I am still in contact with fellow ex-462s and for the most part we all share a common bond because of our experiences both bad and good. Bottom line it is up to you to make the best out of your current position, job, or assignment. 462 forever!


A gauranteed stripe out of basic training and base of choice had me on a flight to Lackland within 4-days of seeing the recruiter for the first time. Although I excelled at my job from the gitgo and was promoted below the zone to E-5 within 3-1/2 years, I found the job to be unfullfilling and extremely lacking in challenging ones ability. After 2 years buffing floors at Minot with an occasional alert bird change-out or ORI to remind us that there really was a purpose for the job, I got orders to Germany. Spangdahlem was a bit more dynamic with F4-D's-E's & G's and the conventional mission. However, the repetitve nature of the work really got to me and my off duty behaviour and activities went into hyper drive with alcohol and other means of "escape". Within days of getting an NCO of QTR Award and a F4 "incentive flight" to induce me to re-enlist, I sealed my fate with a tasteless stunt I pulled while TDY in Turkey. I was 60 days "short" at the time and was discharged as an A1C.


462 from 1977 to 1997 You better be a "Tough and/or a Smart Mother"? Or a Mother who can test good and make rank quickly? In order to deal with that 462/2W1 stuff for a full 20+ year career. Like I did. I who was a "Tough and a Smart Mother". And if you're not? You'll be a Broken Mother instead. Then finding yourself "out" of the Military and working at Subways, Radio Shack, or Walmart. After getting an early discharge from the Air Force. Unless you "Wimp-out" and "cross-train" into another Air Force Career Field? Like I saw many peoples do during my career. Because the 462 or 2W1 Career Field is tough depending on where you are stationed. Because the 462's/2W1's are the God Damn "BACK BONE" of the United States Air Force. !PERIOD. The United States Air Force that's "NOT" !powerful because it's a Global Cargo and/or a Global Passenger Air Force. !Those !not being the United States Air Force Chief, Key, or Greater Missions. The United States Air Forces Chief, Key, and Greater Mission w


I was a weapons troop from 80-84 I agree with most what people who got the job wrote. I really loved doing the job and the guys I worked with I would keep their back till the day we die. most don't appreciate what we do or why we do it. Hell I don't even know why I just know I loved my times on the flightline as a numbers 2 3 man
—Guest histeach


I was was with the 559th TFS, Cam Ranh Bay, RVN 1 Apr '68 - 4 Nov '69. Load crew 9G. We set the "Munitions Record" of the day of 223 consecutive sorties without a malfunction (hanger). Previous record at the time was 78 by a crew in Thailand. I still have the Stars and Strips newspaper clipping. SSgt Robert Webster "Coach" (from Everett Wash) crew chief along with Vince Glasener (from McMinnville Tenn). I miss those great guys. Bob Sloan, Seaspray, Victoria, Australia
—Guest Bob Sloan

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